Raw three-year-old Dominant has had just two career starts but that hasn’t stopped trainer Matt Laurie setting the bar high.
The exciting youngster impressed when narrowly beaten by Rusambo in Saturday’s Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley and is being set on a Caulfield Guineas journey.
Laurie was delighted with the promising gelding’s first-up run and is predicting he will thrive as he steps up in distance.
“I was thrilled. I thought he was going in perhaps a little bit underdone,” Laurie said.
“He’s a lovely, big style of horse and he should improve as he gets up in distance.
“The mile (1600m) looks like it’ll be just perfect and the Caulfield Guineas is the main aim.”
A son of Not A Single Doubt, Dominant’s only previous start came in April when he finished runner-up to Wales in the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
He will get his first chance over a longer trip on Saturday week in the Listed Henry Bucks Stakes (1400m) at Flemington where it is likely he will face a rematch with the Darley-owned Rusambo.
While Laurie was impressed with Dominant’s performance at Moonee Valley last weekend, he is tipping him to relish the extra room provided by the bigger Flemington track.
“He’s adapted to the two tracks he’s raced at so far but the nice, big track at Flemington should really suit him,” Laurie said.
The Mornington trainer said the three-year-old has been “a bit of a handful” throughout the early stages of his career but has been pleased with his ability to deliver on race day.
“He’s doing everything on raw ability at the moment,” he said.
“His trackwork is good without being outstanding but he’s gone to the races twice now and really stepped up on the day.
“He’s been a bit of a rat and quite immature. He’s improved his behaviour but he’s still raw.”